UN Appeals for $4.7 Billion to Aid 21 Million in Crisis-Hit Nigeria, Others

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Urges Swift Action to Support Millions in Need

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has announced a critical appeal for $4.7 billion to assist 20.9 million vulnerable people across Nigeria, Chad, and five other African nations.

Meanwhile, this urgent call to action was highlighted in the OCHA’s 2024 Humanitarian Needs and Requirement Overview report, released on Thursday.

The Sahel region, spanning Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal, is grappling with an intricate web of crises, including instability, escalating violence, and climate change impacts.

These challenges have also left 32.8 million people in desperate need of humanitarian aid and protection services.

OCHA emphasized the necessity for the international community to contribute generously, ensuring that humanitarian response plans can be fully implemented by the year’s end.

The agency, however, underscored the severe consequences if resources fall short, with millions of lives at risk.

In Nigeria alone, the UN identified 7.9 million people in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states as being in dire need of assistance, aiming to reach 4.4 million of them with the required funding of $926.5 million. The report highlighted the dire conditions, including 2.2 million children unable to access education due to school closures, 1,263 non-operational health centers, and the region housing two million refugees and asylum seekers, aside from 5.6 million internally displaced persons.

“Humanitarian partners require $4.7 billion in 2024 to meet the urgent needs of 20.9 million people in Burkina Faso, Cameroon’s Far North Region, Chad, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states. Lives are at risk unless humanitarians receive the necessary resources to respond to these crises and support the region’s most vulnerable people,” the report stated.

Burkina Faso and Nigeria bear the highest burden of internally displaced persons, each hosting over 2.1 million as of April 30, 2024. The resurgence of conflict in Sudan has further complicated the situation, with more than half a million Sudanese refugees now seeking safety in Chad.

Charles Bernimolin, OCHA’s regional head, highlighted the extraordinary efforts of humanitarians working under challenging circumstances. However, he stressed that inadequate resources remain a significant barrier to effectively addressing the humanitarian crisis. He expressed confidence in the capability of international partners to intervene and create lasting solutions.

“Humanitarians across the Sahel are doing extraordinary work, often in the most challenging circumstances. But the crises we face are more complex than ever. Without the necessary resources, these crises will continue to escalate, eroding resilience and endangering vulnerable children, women, and men,” Bernimolin warned. He also called for sustained international engagement to develop long-term solutions that reduce future humanitarian needs.

In 2023, humanitarian partners delivered lifesaving assistance and protection services to over 15.6 million people across the Sahel, but millions more were left without crucial aid due to only 41% of the required funding being received.

The UN report concluded with a stark warning: “As of June 3, 2024, only 16% of the funding requirements for the six 2024 country response plans had been met. If aid operations collapse, it will threaten millions of lives across the Sahel.”


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